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Electrification of Heat Demonstration Project
Case study

Joanne and her daughters’ air source heat pump

“I would recommend it without a doubt.”

The project

Funded by the UK Government Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Electrification of Heat Demonstration Project was designed to understand the technical and practical feasibility of a large-scale rollout of heat pumps. Find out more about the project.

Joanne and her daughters were part of the project.

The challenge

Joanne, Holly and Phoebe’s house previously had an oil boiler providing heat and hot water. However, Joanne knew that the boiler was inefficient and that it would soon need some renovation to improve its performance. She was also concerned that it would not be easy to find spare parts for the boiler because it was an old model. So, she decided it was time to replace it. After researching several heating technologies, Joanne and her daughters agreed that a heat pump was the solution that they were looking for to heat their house.

When they found out about the UK Government funded Electrification of Heat Demonstration Project, which is trialling heat pumps, they decided that this was the right opportunity for them. They decided to replace their oil boiler with a heat pump and reduce their carbon footprint.

Solution and benefits

After visiting the property, the installers suggested that an air source heat pump would be an excellent choice for the family’s house. Following its installation, Joanne, Holly and Phoebe are very happy with the new heat pump. It warms their home up well and Joanne also highlighted a significant improvement in the hot water pressure and temperature compared to the old oil boiler.

“Hot water is much better and beyond.”

Some other benefits of the system, according to Joanne, are the heat pump’s smooth and quiet operation and its environmental benefits.

As Joanne had no prior knowledge of heat pumps, she found the installers’ suggestions and advice very important during the fitting, as they addressed all her questions and concerns about the heat pump technology and operation.

Not only would a heat pump be more efficient than their old oil boiler, but also more environmentally friendly.

Installing the heat pump

How long did it take?

The heat pump was installed in five days by a team of accredited installers involving plumbers and electricians.  

What did it involve?

The outdoor unit of the heat pump was placed in the garden and the indoor unit was placed in the utility room. No radiators or pipework needed to be replaced in the house.

“It was an absolutely perfect installation process.” 

Were they happy with the result?

Joanne, Holly and Phoebe are very happy with their new heat pump.

Common concerns about heat pumps


Joanne has not found the heat pump to be noisy. In fact, she commented that it is actually a lot quieter than her previous oil boiler.

Disruption in the home

Joanne felt that the installation process was smooth and did not disrupt their everyday lives massively. One of the things that she commented on is that they had some periods without heating while the old system was disconnected and the new one was installed, although the installers did not leave them without hot water for more than a few hours.

Joanne advises other households interested in installing a heat pump to arrange the fitting during the summer if possible so that they will not need heating during the days of the installation.

Energy costs

Even though it is too early for Joanne and her daughters to be able to compare the electricity costs to run the heat pump to their previous oil costs, they expect that their current heating bills will be cheaper.

Warmth and comfort

Joanne found that it took her a little while to get used to the new system controls. Together with the installers, she is currently trying to find the best way to program the heat pump at a desirable temperature to keep the house warm. The family is happy with the temperature and pressure of their hot water.

Aesthetics and ‘look’ of the heating unit

Joanne is not concerned about having the outdoor unit of the heat pump in the garden. The indoor unit in the utility room is larger than Joanne anticipated, but she does not mind this.

This case study is part of a series produced as part of a UK Government funded project through its Energy Innovation Programme, the Electrification of Heat Demonstration project. The project is trialling different types of heat pumps in up to 750 homes across the UK.

Looking for funding to install a heat pump?

The Boiler Upgrade Scheme is a UK Government initiative to encourage more people in England and Wales to install low carbon heating systems, such as heat pumps and biomass boilers.

Find out more

Last updated: 20 April 2022